Global Think Tank for Sustainable Development
Think Tank AlterContacts contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through research, publications, initiatives, and facilitating constructive dialogue on Sustainable Development worldwide. Our key initiatives are aimed at Empowering Entrepreneurship, Eradicating Ignorance, and helping organizations to instill the mindset of sustainability, track and measure their contribution to the UN SDGs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the world as we knew it. Or has it? Perhaps, it has only disrupted the notions, rules, and beliefs by which the world is run. But once we let go of past conditioning, of things that are holding back our thinking and imagination - - for example that to contribute to a good cause we need financing and there is no other way - - we discover the true meaning our actions can have on society. In this TED talk, Julia Skupchenko shares her journey during the global disruption of 2020 and the role small businesses and grassroots initiatives play in building a new world after the pandemic, making it more equal and sustainable.
To help small businesses and self-employed professionals overcome the challenges of the pandemic and reactivate the economy, in May 2020 we launched the Lockdown Economy. It is a global non-profit grassroots social-economic and educational movement.
The United Nations has recognized it as an Acceleration Action for the Sustainable Development Goals.
On 30 March 2021, the Lockdown Economy initiative by the Think Tank AlterContacts was chosen by the Dutch representatives in the European Parliament as the national finalist from the Netherlands for the European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2021.
On 20 October 2020, the team of the Lockdown Economy received the Gold award in the 13th Annual 2020 Women in Business and the Professions World Awards®. In the category "Hero of the Year | Helping Others During COVID-19".
The COVID-19 pandemic has made confinement a defining part of our lives. The interaction with our families and friends happens digitally. The children are remotely- schooled, their parents are working from home. In many countries, mobility is limited to getting food and medical services. To compensate for the lack of movement people exercise in the solitude of their living rooms. For the majority of the world’s population, this has become a reality because of the highly contagious nature of COVID-19. For people with disabilities, it has been the way of living long before. Our idea is to provide a safe and entertaining environment where anyone can learn about complex subjects.
The goal of our project is to create opportunities to cover basic needs (food, shelter, medical support) for self-employed people who lost their source of income due to the pandemic. That will be done by enabling the government to outsource remote office tasks to freelancers and self-employed through existing freelance platforms.
We aim to Empower Entrepreneurship across the globe. Our goal is to prototype a new economy, based on trust, where all agents -- entrepreneurs, freelancers, independent professionals and startups -- contribute to each other’s well being in a sustainable way. We believe that whatever their reason was to start on their own, the brave ones that do deserve genuine and high-quality support. Not as a one-off but consistently along their entrepreneurial journey. We don’t promise anyone the mountains of gold. Instead, we help them learn, connect and grow in what they do.
Ignorance goes beyond illiteracy and innumeracy. It manifests itself in a lack of knowledge and an inability to process information. It affects the way we perceive reality, interact with and distinguish facts from opinions, and how we make decisions. Eradicating it is not just about producing new knowledge but about sharing it in a way that reaches the minds of people, about finding alternative ways of education. Through our initiatives and campaigns, we hope to bring knowledge and a fact-based approach back to various spheres of life, all ages, and countries.